Out of pocket: London women working for ‘free’ until 2015 as Equal Pay Day comes three days early

With only 50 days until Christmas let’s hope London’s busy working mums have finished buying presents as, on average, from now until December 31 women effectively stop earning due to the gender pay gap.

And the pay gap is only increasing, the UK has fallen to 26th place from 18th last year in rankings of worldwide pay equality, just above Mozambique, in a report complied by the World Economic Forums.

Sadiq Khan, MP for Tooting, called for businesses to publish their hourly wages for men and women.

He said: “Over forty years on from the Equal Pay Act, this Tory led government is taking us backwards, not forwards.

“Women shouldn’t have to wait another forty years for equal pay for equal work.”

Equal Pay Day marks the point when full-time working women effectively stop earning as they are paid 15.7% less per year, on average, than men working full-time.

According to statistics analysed by the TUC women are paid on average £2.53 less per hour than men which equals around 80p for every pound men earn.

The TUC has revealed that the gender pay gap is much wider in certain sectors and even in professions where women are well-represented, they still earn much less than their male counterparts.

Women dominate the ranks of senior educational professionals and solicitors, but still earn 22.3% and 20.2% less respectively.

“Women shouldn’t have to wait another forty years for equal pay for equal work.”

This means female solicitors in full-time jobs earn more than £10,000 a year less, on average, than their male colleagues.

Women are also more likely to be employed on poverty pay, one in four full-time working women earns less than the living wage, compared to one in six men.

Tessa Jowell, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, said: “Between 1997 and 2010, under the Labour Government I was proud to be a member of, the gender pay gap actually closed by a third – but now under the Tories and Lib Dems it is widening again.”

TUC’s analysis of the equal pay gap also showed that just one in 15 women working full-time earns more than £50,000 a year, compared to one in seven men.

TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, also called for pay transparency and for companies to be held more accountable for how they pay their staff.

She said: “It feels like the glass ceiling is getting stronger not weaker and we need a much tougher approach to stop future generations of women from suffering this pay penalty.

“The government must also tackle the problem of poverty pay which is another reason for the gender pay gap. Ministers need to take a serious look at why so many jobs in Britain pay so little when employers can easily afford to pay staff more.”

Featured image courtesy of @Doug88888, with thanks

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